In Forbes Street SCEGGS (which is a private girls school) has a new arts/music building next to old St Peters Church. Sometimes when I walk by I see the girls through the window, instuments in hand hard at work making music. Little do they know that on that very spot many years ago a mad artist made music in a very unusual way. His name was Peter and I often wonder what he is doing these days and where he went.
Back in the 1970's a little old brick terrace house stood where the SCEGGS music room is now, and it was in a state of continual re-invention by Peter. He had removed the floors so that walking in off the street it was a cavernous 2 story space with just the outside walls left and from the street one had to step down to the bedrock which once was under the house, but, by then, was his floor.
Leaning against the wall to the left as you entered there was the steel strings from the interior of a piano. These Peter would play with the back of a spoon. I still remember the sound that made. It felt like being in a magic garden full of wondous things to be at his place.
The exterior of the house was Peter's artwork. He continually painted it. One day it would be spaceships in the sky, then a forest would appear. All the windows had been removed and replaced with objects like a car windscreen. It was colorful and marvellous and I loved seeing it, but now it only exists as fragments in my memory.
So whenever I walk past that part of the street and see the girls making their music in their brand new building with their well dressed teacher I cannot help but contrast the sight with that zany music I heard all those years ago and the mad artist who was making it, and wonder, whatever happened to Peter?